Having committed to do another walk (just a 50km tiddler) at the end of September, today represented the first day of properly getting back in to my walking regimen. The weather wasn’t great when I set out, but by the time lunch was calling, the sky had at least stopped leaking on my head.
I was slightly in a quandary about where to partake of luncheon, but MJ, who was in London presenting her research on Runaway Rhythm at a conference, told me that I should head pubward. While Ecco Vino is slightly more wine bar than pubby pub, it was to there that I headed, with MJ’s hearty approval.
Last time I visited was on the night of Hurricane Bawbag, when MJ and I supped warm mulled cider until the wind blew in one of my windows and I had to hasten home for a spot of temporary reparation. I was glad to be back, today.
Upon surveying the specials board, which is where their stronger dishes generally reside, I was quick to choose the seafood stew, to follow my leek and potato soup. Given the place is a wine specialist, I took a recommendation for a suitable glass of white to match my selections.
The soup looked rather good when it arrived. It seemed to be a reasonably light soup, topped with olive oil and parsley. The parsley was a rather dominant flavour, making it more of a potato and parsley than leek and potato, but I was very pleased with it, nevertheless.
The seafood stew was to a similar high quality, but had one each from the small and large mistake category. Small mistake: it needed a good deal more citrus sharpness running through it. Big mistake: it had three lovely huge shell-on prawns in it. Why was this a mistake? Well, it was because they were submerged within the tomatoey broth of the stew, so I only discovered them after I’d been eating the dish for a good ten minutes, by which time they were spectacularly overcooked.
I’m all for a bit of theatre in dishes, and if I’d rescued these enormous blighters a little earlier in proceedings, I may have been rewarded with lovely sweet succulence. But I didn’t and consequently the prawns were chewy, which was a crying shame.
Even with these faults the dish was very good, though. It had an absolute profusion of fish, a nice number of mussels, and the broth of the stew, although a little thinner than optimal, was satisfyingly tasty. Nice chunks of vegetable rounded the dish out, making it hearty and warming.
So I was very pleased with Ecco Vino. It served me two really good dishes, and though they had their faults, they still provided me with a high quality lunch. In addition, a smart pub setting and helpful service make this place a very attractive offering. I’d recommend you pay it a visit, soon.
Blythe scores Ecco Vino
4/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
4/5 for service
4/5 for setting
giving an overall 15.5/20
Today’s quester was: Blythe
I ate: leek and potato soup; seafood stew
I drank: white wine, water
I wore: brown trousers
Total bill: c.£20